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Cugir arsenal to start manufacturing 60,000 assault rifles


The Cugir arsenal will start manufacturing 60,000 assault rifles, fully Romanian designed, for the Romanian Ministry of Defence (MApN), with ten prototypes being currently tested by Romanian troops in various theaters of operations.

'Cugir arsenal specialists have completed designing and manufacturing the new rifle under a national programme for the manufacturing of a 5.56mm X 45 assault rifle and related ammunitions. Ten prototypes were sent to the Defence Ministry for testing using live ammunition in the theatres of operations and combat missions by Romanian troops,' ROMARM General Manager Vasile Crisan said Monday.

After the new rifle - an improved, fully adjustable AKM that has a different design, ambidextrous configuration and fitted with a sniper and torch - is tested and assessed, a contract will be signed this autumn and 60,000 rifles ordered, while a much larger order will follow.

Mostly of Cugir arsenal's output, or 97 percent, particularly civilian weapons for the US market, is bound for export, with the company having business orders that cover the entire 2012. The factory also exports civilian and military hardware to Europe.

The Cugir arsenalis currently carrying out three business contracts with US partners, and most recently it concluded a similar contract with Azerbaijan.The Cugir arsenal is currently employing 700 people, to whom 500 are planned to be added in April-May.

Established in 2004 following a split from the Cugir mechanical plant, the arsenal is manufacturing weapons of various calibers for the infantry, law enforcement officers and special troops, as well as hunting guns.

The Cugir factory was established in 1799 under the Habsburg Empire as the Cugir Iron and Steel Works.